University of Hawaiʻi marine science students will return from the last of three student research expeditions aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor on Thursday, June 19. The group sailed to Station ALOHA, a long-term ocean sampling site 60 miles north of Oʻahu. The 11 students on this past cruise makes a total of 58 UH graduate and undergraduate students who have had an opportunity to learn and train onboard the R/V Falkor in 2014.
- UH News story: “Graduate students lead research effort aboard the R/V Falkor”
- Schmidt Ocean Institute student cruises website
Most of this third student group’s research at Station ALOHA focused on small crustaceans known as copepods. Student projects included researching the grazing habits of copepod larvae—a critical component in ocean nutrient cycling—and exploring the fluorescence in copepods and copepod paternity.
“It was wonderful to watch everyone work together—the students, postdoctoral students and the Schmidt Ocean Institute team,” said Erica Goetze, Schmidt Ocean Institute’s chief scientist and assistant professor. “The data collected on this expedition will serve as a foundation for multiple PhD dissertations and research projects.”
Brian Taylor, UH Mānoa dean of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, also joined the research cruise to map the seafloor at the Kaiwi Channel between the islands of Oʻahu and Molokaʻi. Taylor’s project gave students an excellent opportunity to observe Schmidt Ocean Institute’s state-of-the-art high-resolution seafloor mapping sonar systems that were recently used to map 35 percent of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
- UH News story: “Scientists chart seafloor of one of Earth’s largest marine protected areas”
- Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument mapping expedition website
Said Taylor, “These expeditions have allowed students to walk away with a whole new skill set that they will be able to apply to their own research and future oceanography work.”
- Student cruise one: The secret lives of whales
- Student cruise two: Deeper views
- Student cruise three: Net gains at Station ALOHA
Iron-eating bacteria focus of additional Falkor cruise
With the student cruises completed, the R/V Falkor leaves the Port of Honolulu again for the Lōʻihi Seamount off Hawaiʻi Island on June 25, on a research cruise led by SOEST Assistant Professor Brian Glazer.
His research will focus on iron-eating bacteria at this undersea volcano. Glazer and his research team will collect water samples to better understand the processes impacting delivery and dispersion of hydrothermal fluids from Lōʻihi to the Pacific Ocean. The goal is to gain a better understanding of the processes underway at two known sites where bacteria are feeding on or oxidizing iron.
This will be the last Schmidt Ocean Institute research cruise in Hawaiʻi for 2014.
For more information, read the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology news release.